Coach Jack Driscoll talks to the girls' basketball team before their Championship game.
By Stephen Garfield, Sports Writer
March 28, 2017
ST. JOHNSBURY — They weren't the tallest team in D-I. Speed? Sure, but not in droves. It was everything else St. J Academy girls basketball team did on the floor this winter. With a starting lineup that included a freshman and two sophomores, the Hilltoppers finished in first place with an 18-2 regular-season record, advancing to the finals where they lost by three points to second-seeded Champlain Valley Union. The CVU Redhawks were the only team to defeat St. J this season as the Toppers finished 21-3.
St. Johnsbury's season was recognized Monday as coach Jack Driscoll was selected Metro Coach of the Year in voting by Metro division coaches. The same panel also picked Hilltoppers sophomore Sadie Stetson as Metro Player of the Year.
"It's a big honor, and nice to be recognized by your peers," Driscoll said on Monday. "It's really an award for the program. We all succeed together, and it kind of validates what we're doing.
"As young as we were, overall, to have the kind of success we had made it a special season," he added.
In this, his 24th season coaching SJA, it's the first time this recognition has come to coach Driscoll, and his second award in three days. He was in Windsor on Saturday to receive, for the second time in his career, the Vermont Basketball Coaches Association Girls Coach of the Year at the annual VBCA All Star Game at Windsor High School. He was previously honored by the VBCA in 2010.
Stetson also was honored Saturday in Windsor as the VBCA's Player of the Year. The guard/forward did a little of everything for St. J: bringing the ball up the court, rebounding, deflecting and tipping passes that usually resulted in steals for St. J. She averaged 14 points per game and, in addition to VBCA and Metro Division Player of the Year awards, was earlier this month named Vermont Gatorade Player of the Year.
Also in Metro voting released Monday, SJA freshman guard Josie Choiniere made the first team, and sophomore forward Neva Bostic made honorable mention.
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